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“I was really proud of all the dancers because they had worked so hard and they put on a great show. I’m sad because it’s my last performance, but I’m also happy because it’s amazing just showing the whole school what we’ve rehearsed for the past two months. It was a really great experience.” -Reshma Patel, 12 PHOTO BY JUSTIN KANG
2 table of contents
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
contents news 3 opinion 6 feature 9 in-depth 10 PHOTO BY KEVIN YIN
The Hoofprint, the ofďŹ cial student newspaper of Walnut High School, is a forum for student expression that strives for accuracy, journalistic integrity, and truthfulness. It seeks to reďŹ‚ect the diversity of the student body and surrounding community in a fair and objective manner.
STAFF Staff Writers: Jezebel Cardenas, Hong Chen, Eva Chen, Carlene Chinn, Cloris Chou, Vanessa Chou, Gabriella Compolongo, Jackson Deng, Avika Dua, Diane Fann, Samantha Gomes, Raytene Han, Leon Ho, Kent Hsieh, Jefferey Huang, Iqra Iqbal, Justin Kang, Daniela Kim, Michelle Kim, Mabel Kyinn, Joyce Lam, Chase Lau, Susie Law, Jessica Lee, Patrick Lee, Ann Lei, Jasmine Lin, Susan Lin, Christine Liu, Sarah Liu, Gabrille Manuit, Ashlyn Montoya, Eunice Pang, Tina Peng, Moanna Phan, Leonie Phoa, Caroline Shih, Agnes Shin, Jacqueline Sotoodeh, Belle Sun, Lily Tanara, Angelina Tang, Varisa Tantiwasadakran, Deanna Trang, Alexandra Wong, Phillomina Wong, Kevin Wu, Spencer Wu, Kevin Yin, Stephany Yong, Jessica You, Ted Zhu | Adviser: Rebecca Chai Editors-in-Chief: Andrew Koo, Reetika Singh, Eddie Cox Managing Editor: Brittany Tsou Copy Editor: Sharon Lay News Editors: Felix Lee, Austin Au-Yeung Opinion Editors: Elliot Park, Jessica Kwok Feature Editors: To-Van Hoang, Michael Hyun A&E Editors: Karen Ou, Jessica Wang
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VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
School introduces CASA holds annual tournament new dance policy CASA’s annual basketball tournament will continue until Friday, Mar. 16.
The new guidelines are the next progression of encouraging more traditional forms of dancing. Hong Chen Staff writer The new dance policy goes into effect this Saturday at the Sadies Hawkins Dance as another attempt at stopping grinding at school-sponsored events. In a letter sent home to the parents of students, Principal Jeff Jordan explained the new zero tolerance policy on “inappropriate” dancing that would give four demerits to students caught in the act and ban them from the next dance. “If you can only dance in this way, then this change is harsh and sudden. But if you’re someone who doesn’t go to dances because of the dancing, I think this is a welcomed relief and is less pressure to just go have fun,” Class of 2012 grade level coordinator Danny Daher said. The policy bans any “overtly sexual and ﬂat out inappropriate dancing,” which has been a concern of parents and faculty over the years. “First off, parents are appalled at the dancing. Secondly, some students are uncomfortable with it, and staff and faculty as well,” Daher said.
The reaction from students have been mixed and some have come out in support of the new dance expectations. “I think it’s a good policy because people should be respected. I don’t feel it’s right to dance in such a manner that’s degrading to your date,” senior Hunter He said. Others feel that the new rules are too harsh and limit student expression. “It’s really unnecessary because it’s the 21st century, and there’s no other way to dance, unless you want to tango or waltz or form a conga line and pump your ﬁsts,” sophomore Jessica Huang said. Administration believes that the policy is a step in the right direction in encouraging positive behavior from students. “As a school, as a faculty, and as a team, I feel that we have an obligation to not only just educate minds but also to teach moral and social values to students, to educate holistically,” Daher said. “It’s just not right to allow that type of behavior.” Ω
ECGA implements recycling program ECGA has partnered with Valley Vista Services to place recycling bins in every classroom. Jacqueline Sotoodeh Staff writer ECGA has started a paper recycling program where paper waste will be collected from classrooms. This prevents the paper from ending up in a landﬁll; instead, they will go to Valley Vista Services to be reused as recycled paper. “I sincerely believe that this program can be successful because we have a wonderful group of dedicated students who are heading the program and striving for the program’s success,” junior Nahlee Lin said. “Furthermore, I think that our program will receive support from many of the students and faculty on campus, since recycling and environmentalism are becoming more and more ingrained in society nowadays.” The program started around a year ago, when senior Jerry Qin worked out a relationship with the local trash company, Valley Vista Services. The company donated 135 paper recycling bins to ECGA and offered free bi-weekly pick up services to the school.
“Instead of having the whole club make sure that this program runs smoothly, a group can be in charge of this task while the other leaders plan something else for our school,” junior Jason Lee said. “I believe that this program will be very successful because our school has a lot of paper waste.” Paper recycling bins have been placed next to trash cans for the students’ convenience. Teacher aids will dump the recycled paper into a large bin when it is full. If teachers do not have a teacher aid, a member of a “Paper Program Committee” will be assigned to the teacher. “The thought of having our governing board take charge of the Paper Program is extremely assuring,” junior Catherine Ha said. “Given that our governing board is composed of friendly, hardworking, and dedicated individuals who always complete tasks in a timely manner, I know that we will be able to take on the many challenges presented and be able to execute our actions accordingly in order to raise awareness for recycling paper, in addition to bottles and cans.” Ω
Andraes Arteaga Staff writer
Chinese American Student Association (CASA) is hosting its eighth annual basketball tournament every Friday from Mar. 2-16. NHS, MESU, Interact, and SAA advanced after the ﬁrst round. To sign up for the tournament, each of the eight clubs submitted an application form and paid $15 to CASA. “It’s a tradition. It brings in some money, and it brings in clubs for a competition. Everyone likes basketball, and people like to see how people match up with each other,” junior CASA cabinet member Chenglin Lee said. Members participate because of their love for the sport and the competition that is created. “Basketball is one of my favorite sports, so that’s why I like the tournament,” senior NHS member Nilson Wu said. “All of the clubs get to come together, have some fun, and interact with each other. That’s the good part about it.” The team with the most points after 20 minutes will advance on to the next round. “It is a one-game elimination, so you have to stay focused. There’s
PHOTO BY ASHLEY XU
DEFENDING CHAMPIONS: Senior Momin Masroor elevates for a jumper, hoping to lift NHS to another championship two years in a row. no room to slack off,” Wu said. “It is not really cutthroat, but it is quite competitive and also fun.” While some club members play to bond with friends, members of Simple Faith use this opportunity to praise God as well. “We wanted to have fun and glorify God by playing basketball,” junior Ryan Wong said. “ We want to thank God for the fellowship of brothers and the blessing of playing basketball together.”
With the inter-club competition comes a sense of pride for participants, even those from clubs that may not seem athletic. “People probably don’t think [Speech & Debate is] an athletic club,” senior Parth Visrodia said. “It’s always nice to go out there and show we can do more than debate. It’s a great opportunity for clubs to show other clubs what they are made of.” Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
“Grease Lightning” chosen as Sadies theme ASB responded to the comments about last year’s theme by giving students their proposed theme of “Grease Lightning.” Jefferey Huang Staff writer “Grease Lightning” themed Sadies derived from the 1978 ﬁlm “Grease” will be hosted in the gym from 7-11 p.m on Saturday, Mar. 10. “The theme is ‘Grease Lightning’ because the students weren’t happy with last year’s theme and this is
what they wanted,” junior Jacquelin Murillo said. “We’re bringing back the DJ from 2011’s Winter Formal and having other entertainment like ping pong and pool, so we can have more activities than just dancing.” Junior members of ASB took charge of this year’s Sadies. “I think it’s a good idea for the juniors on the Dance Committee to be
more proactive in giving the plans for Sadies because it is a test to see how we will be able to handle ourselves next year,” junior Erika Ingram said. The new dance policy banning “inappropriate dancing” will be enforced at this dance. “When it gets closer and closer to the day of the dance, it gets more stressful and more exciting,” junior
Kyle Parisi said. “You’re hopeful that everything goes well, and hopefully we get the same amount of people to show up. We’re not really going to change anything [due to the dance policy]. There’s still going to be all the activities, so I hope we can get a good turnout.” Through their efforts, the Dance Committee plans meet the interests of
students. “I hope that we have a high attendance because of our DJ selection and the different types of activities,” Ingram said. “It’s very hard to please every student with a theme, but I hope that we have chosen one that’s fun and that students are excited about.” Ω
MSA and Simple Faith collaborate at “A Leap of Faith” MSA and Simple Faith hosted their annual interfaith meeting to learn about the principles of Islam and Christian religion. Candee Yuan Staff writer Muslim Student Association and Simple Faith hosted its annual interfaith meeting, “A Leap of Faith,” from Mar. 5-7 during lunch in the MPR. As a platform for discussing the fundamentals of the world’s two most practiced religions, Islam and Christianity, guest speakers for each club came for the ﬁrst two days while the third day was left open for a Q&A session. “It’s nice to have an interfaith meeting because it allows us to understand one another’s religion better and in a way, it promotes tolerance. Islam and Christianity are religions that share similar beliefs
and at the same time are completely different,” junior MSA vice president Ayesha Rasheed said. This meeting provided a stage for student to openly share views and ideas. “This kind of meeting allows for religion to have a stage at school and I think it’s a great opportunity to share our beliefs,” senior Simple Faith president Landon Meyers said. “We have a chance to discuss the things that we hold most dear in public in front of our peers and friends, which can be hard otherwise.” The event was a learning opportunity for students of both clubs. “The best part is the learning experience and the overall knowledge that you gain,” sophomore MSA
meeting coordinator and publicist Jasser Kafaﬁ said. “People always want to know what’s different about your religion and the event gives that knowledge in a serene way without debating.” Bringing religions together also gives students the chance to better understand not only what their beliefs are, but also who they are and why they believe what they do. “This is a great opportunity as well as to clear up some confusion that some people have about who we really are and what our purpose is... we aren’t just goody-goodies or rule-followers or whatever society has people believing. I hope for the truth to get out there, I want it to be exposed,” senior Simple Faith cabinet member Nica Martin said.
PHOTO BY HONG CHEN
LIMITED PERCEPTION: Guest speaker Jeff Snotgrass discusses the limited perception of different religions through a demonstration.
Select clubs performed cultural dances
Twelve clubs were represented in dance performances from specific cultures and traditions at the Multicultural Assembly.
Ted Zhu Staff writer Ethnic and dance-based clubs showcased performances at this year’s Multicultural Assembly. The assembly was held on Friday, Mar. 2, in the gym. Clubs had their choreography reviewed by ASB and adviser Andy Schultz in the tryout stages. “I guess last year’s performance was really plagued by technical problems so the run was important to make sure that the same problem wouldn’t happen again,” freshman Hip Hop member Johnny Mok said. “It was a bit intimidating to have others watch and inspect your performance but it went well.” Among the performances, were Polynesian club’s Warrior Haka Dance and a type of ethnic hula for the girls. “The Haka is something that guys do to pump themselves up before a battle and get their blood pumping before raiding another village. They use it as an insult to other rival villages,” junior Sithisack Janya said. “What we’ve put together for our performance really shows and symbolizes our culture. We really wanted people to see and understand
PHOTOS BY JUSTIN KANG AND EUNICE PANG
AROUND THE WORLD (FROM LEFT TO RIGHT): Junior Joseph Nombrado, representing Polynesian club, charismatically leads the Warrior Haka Dance in a warrior call. After executing the pancake, junior Roger Liang dips his partner junior Lan-Anh Ngo in Swing club’s routine. out traditions and values as warriors and ﬁghters.” Afterschool practices became common as clubs ﬁnalized their choreography and execution. “We’ve been practicing, and practicing, and practicing,” freshman Brandon Wang said. “As a ﬁrst year member of Hip Hop Club, the assembly will provide me the ﬁrst actual experience to perform in front
of others. I really enjoy it because you don’t need to know that much about hip hop; you just need to put in the time and you’ll eventually get good at it.” South Asian Association’s energetic routine near the end of the program centered on a traditional Bhangra dance along with mainstream Bollywood music. “Dance is a very central part to
Indian culture because it’s a way for people to come out and to celebrate and enjoy at parties,” senior Reshma Patel said. “It’s an outlet for people in our culture to get away from the hard work so we can relax and have fun. It’s also a main source for families to get together.” The assembly ran smoothly and clubs ﬁnally got their chance to display the product of their rigorous
training. “I was really happy with our performance because the crowd reacted well and it really made the performers feel excited,” Patel said. “I was proud of everyone who had worked together to make this work out. But I was also a bit sad because this was my last cultural performance in high school and I’ll really miss this a lot.” Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
FBLA finishes first after 20 years
Walnut’s FBLA team takes first place sweepstakes while ending Moorpark’s 20-year long record last Saturday, Mar. 2. Samantha Gomes Staff writer FBLA broke Moorpark High School’s 20-year long record of placing ﬁrst at the Gold Coast Sectionals by taking home the ﬁrst place sweepstakes last Saturday, Mar. 3. “We placed second for the last two years and got really close last year, which gave us some hope. I’m really proud of the students because this shows everyone that you can be the dominant team. Maybe even in future years, other schools such as Gabrielino and Arcadia can be the champions,” FBLA adviser Mr. Jacoby said. “This club wouldn’t even be here without Mr. Dutton and Mr. Jordan, who kept it going even after I resigned for wanting to complete
my master’s degree. I came back the year after, when Mr. Dutton told Mr. Jordan that FBLA was one of the best things he had ever seen after forty years as a teacher.” This historical achievement received many congratulations from parents and alumni who were once a part of FBLA. “I can’t believe Moorpark’s twenty-yearstreak of winning Sweepstakes at the Gold Coast Section Conference is ﬁnally over. I would’ve been happy even if another school beat them, but knowing it
was Walnut, just makes the crummy feeling of despair and hopelessness sitting in the bleachers, hearing the Moorpark chants over and over four
through the help of cabinet members and advisers this year in order to try to place ﬁrst. “One thing Walnut FBLA
has that a lot of other schools don’t are driven students who are willing to put in the extra time studying for their events. To an extent, we prepare them to compete, but they have to be determined to place. Without these kind of members, we
“I can’t believe that Moorpark’s twenty-yearstreak of winning sweepstakes at the Gold Coast Section Conference is finally over. I would’ve been happy even if another school beat them.” -Aaron Lim, alumnus consecutive years, all go away,” FBLA ex-president Aaron Lim said. Students prepared for Sectionals
wouldn’t have been able to make Gold Coast FBLA history,” junior FBLA president Avika Dua said. Students moving onto the next round are preparing to face tougher competitors at FBLA California’s State competition, which will be held at Irvine Hyatt from Apr. 19-23. “I went to State last year and didn’t do very well, but I hope to change that this year. I’ve been studying more resources and doing more practice tests to make myself more familiar with accounting. After I won, my parents were really proud of me and we ended up celebrating, but the level is a lot harder at State than at Sectionals because many schools offer accounting as a class, so it’ll be a lot tougher,” sophomore Victor Chen said.Ω
WASC finishes VOW advocates civil and human rights school evaluation Senior Kevin Dhali’s Voice of the World charity organization held a benefit concert to raise money for civil and human rights in Indonesia.
A WASC commission will determine the length of the school’s accreditation term in June. Eddie Cox Editor-in-chief Ofﬁcials from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) visited classrooms last week in a process that will result in a period of accreditation for the school. In June, the school will receive a validation of whether or not it met an “acceptable level of quality”, which ensures that graduating students’ high school diplomas are recognized by colleges. WASC identiﬁed how well the school’s performance and standards corresponded to the 2009 Focus on Learning Self Study report the school sent in the middle of the previous accreditation cycle. The 400 page report covered areas from school demographics to perception data, which was collected from surveys. In the action plan detailed in the report, the school identiﬁed progress at the beginning of the accreditation cycle in 2006 in areas such as technology and curriculum diversity. “Preparation for WASC has conﬁrmed for me that this is an absolutely outstanding high school where students and staff are committed to performing at the highest level,” principal Jeff Jordan said. “It also tells me that we still need to focus on students who need our help.” As part of the action plan, the school introduced the Bridge program in 2007 to help struggling middle school students transition into high school through a summer program and to provide continued aid to them
throughout high school. Intervention has replaced enrichment for a six week exploratory period to provide additional instructions to students in need of help. “Intervention period is okay for reviewing work but the block periods seemed longer because there is no break,” freshman Gregory Murrieta said. “During intervention I would ask my peers for help on stuff I didn’t understand.” Two groups of students, one of which was randomly selected and the other chosen to represent school programs, met with WASC ofﬁcials and raised their concerns about aspects of the school which included bathroom sanitation and the intervention period. Goals the staff has set forth include moving students from nonproﬁcient to proﬁcient in California Standardized Testing, making classes more engaging, and introducing more technology into classrooms. “The goal for all schools is to help everyone become proﬁcient,” vice principal Bill Diskin said. The WASC visitors will send a report to a committee which will determine how long the accreditation, ranging from a one year period to a six year period with a possible midterm visit, will last. “We learned from the committee and I think they learned from us,” English teacher Jeffrey Silva said. “The committee saw Walnut at its best; it’s nice that we didn’t have to feign anything.” Ω
PHOTOS BY LEONIE PHOA
INSTRUMENTAL TALENT (LEFT TO RIGHT): Senior Darren Chang, Willa Chen, and Emily Dai performed “Rolling in the Deep” and “Secrets.” Freshmen Bobbie Chen and Louisa Lee “Man in the Mirror.” Jessica You Staff writer Swing Club, Hip Hop Club, and individuals performed for Voice of the World beneﬁt concert on Friday, Mar 2. Students were able to donate and help support civil and human rights in Indonesia through Voice of the World, a charity organization started by senior Kevin Dhali. Many dancers, pianists, singers and even adults volunteers in to help support the cause and raise a total of $1,500. “There were many people who attended: parents, students, even the mayor was there and she gave a very encouraging and approving closing speech,” Dhali said. “It was great to see everyone very enthusiastic in partaking within an event that is supporting such a great cause.” Performers were able to be a part of a good cause, and to have their family support them in the crowd.
“I was excited because we got to collaborate with the other clubs and groups at Walnut in a performance outside of the multicultural assembly,” senior Rebeccah Luu said. “This performance was a different experience because the performers had the chance to invite their friends who don’t go to Walnut and their family members to watch them perform.” Although preparation for the concert took time, students felt that the effort paid off in the end. “It was a great opportunity for us to help others out by doing what we love. Although the practices for the beneﬁt concert are tiresome, they provide a lot of bonding time for us,” Luu said. Families and friends were able to watch their peers perform and support a cause at the same time. “Hopefully, this event can serve as a ﬁrst step toward even bigger accomplishments in the future now
that people are more aware. They have contributed in taking action against human rights violations by simply attending a concert, enjoying the show, and watching their friends or family members perform,” Dhali said. “A lot of positive feedback was given by the audience and encouragements were given to hold more projects of similar nature in the future.” Being able to perform for charity and dance with friends was a rewarding experience for many students. “I’ve always wanted to help inﬂuence others in having a voice and actually going out into the community to ﬁnd ways to basically be involved in general,” senior Swing Club president Alisa Lu said. “But overall, there’s nothing better than helping the world by supporting a cause that you truly believe in, than by doing something that you love.” Ω
EDITORIAL LIGHTENING THE LOAD Taking chances and facing adversity facilitates growth. While there’s validity to the idea that we need adversity in our lives, taking on too much can stretch us past our breaking point. Having the will to work and the ambition to succeed is admirable, but each of us must come to realize that we all have limits. We become overeager to take on more than we can handle, only to realize that we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. While we’re often tempted to go beyond our capacity, choosing tougher AP and IB classes, we must consider our forcing ourselves into an extra science class to improve our record, we should take another math class if that’s what we prefer. Work on our weaknesses, but focus on our strengths as well. Sometimes, it’s better to work smart, not hard. Stretching ourselves too thin keeps us from truly committing to anything. Balancing not only means taking care of multiple duties, but also prioritizing. While it may sound like a great idea to join every club and organization on campus, being a part of so many different groups stops us from effectively devoting ourselves. Commitment is more
than our presence, it’s our consistency and dedication. Being an active member in one organization means more than being a passive member in 10 of them. These choices to take on too much are ones that affect our near future. With college decisions rapidly approaching, seniors now face the decision of which college we’ll attend. The allure of a big-name college is often appealing enough so that we choose colleges based on their names, but picking one that suits our abilities best can prove more fruitful for our future. At the same time, we can learn more from a college that pushes us to our peak over one that we can breeze through. Getting the most from our education is more than picking the best or easiest college. Ultimately, when we take on too much, we hurt not only ourselves but also those who rely on us as well. Don’t take this as an excuse to not do anything, but remember that we can’t fully commit ourselves to anything by spreading ourselves too thin. Growth may be by taking on numerous responsibilities can end up hurting rather than helping.
HOW TO GET YOUR OPINION PUBLISHED 1. Type a full-length reply to a particular article or situation on campus and email to whshoofprint@gmail. com, or draw a sample comic or political cartoon in black ink on plain 8.5 x 11 inch white paper and turn it in to Ms. Chai in D-1. 2. Include your name, grade, ﬁrst period class, and phone number. (Anonymous letters will not be published.)
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
With both ASB and class elections approaching, we should step back and evaluate whether our system of choosing officers is as efficient as it seems.
EDITORIAL CARTOON BY AMY LEE
To-Van Hoang Feature editor Every year since the ﬁfth grade, I’d roll my eyes and let out an exaggerated sigh at the announcement of class elections. And this year, I’ll probably do the same. Why? Because everyone knows that class elections have been, and always will be, popularity contests. It’s too easy to say, “I know him. I like him. Let’s help him out because I think he’s kind of a cool guy.” It’s practically a blind vote at that shallow a consideration, and that’s deﬁnitely not how we should be choosing the person who represents us in ofﬁce. Holding a position in class cabinet carries more weight than most of us know. They’re the ones organizing fundraisers, working closely with our class advisers and handling a bunch of other behindthe-scenes things that I can’t even list – it goes to show you how little we actually know about our leaders. Our student representatives need to be willing and able, and picking them at random brings us no beneﬁt. Basically, what I’m trying to say is this: We need to know what we’re getting into. We need to know more
about the people we’re voting for and about the jobs they’re trying to take on as well. Becoming informed and making this happen is the big challenge. The problem I’m anticipating is that this necessity turns the election process into something much more complicated than I think we’re willing to take control of. Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but I can’t see high schoolers taking it upon themselves to deeply ponder the leadership and creative qualities of the candidates before callously checking off boxes next to the names they’re most acquainted with. And that’s where some people think implementing a new election system may come in handy. But I don’t think doing so is properly addressing the root of the problem. Even the national election process is ﬂawed to the point that we gripe and grieve over it. So what can we do in high school that’ll raise our class elections above the lame status of being “popularity contests?” For starters, we can make it mandatory for the candidates to incorporate their credentials into their campaigns just so the rest of us can ﬁgure out which person is more hands-on, involved, and responsible. It doesn’t say everything, but there’s a lot we can learn about a person from what he or
she can put on paper. The biggest change that needs to be made is not within the system itself, but in the mindset of the student voters. As I mentioned earlier, I can’t see my fellow students falling into the habit of putting deeper consideration into their ballots than what they take for face value. That’s exactly what we need to do though. I realize that what happens around school doesn’t seem like a big deal, compared to the likes of Super Tuesday, but this is our school nonetheless. As teenagers, we complain about a lot of things, but we shouldn’t have to complain about things we have control over, as long as we do our part. Of course we want someone we can get along with – if we can get along with our president, so can his cabinet, our advisers, and everyone else he needs to interact with. But at the same time, we don’t want someone who’s all bark and no bite. It doesn’t matter if he can talk the talk if he can’t walk the walk. Responsibility and ability are key factors. And when it comes down to it, we, as the student body, need to be able to see all these things for ourselves. It’s not the system that determines who wins the elections, but the voters, and we need to take our job as seriously as we want our cabinet to. Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Grinding down grinding
A WORD TO THE WISE
Administration’s letter last week, which outlines the new dance policy’s harsher punishment for dirty dancing, shows just how much grinding has become an accepted, yet deplorable part of our culture.
Happiness is an important part of our lives, one that we should actively pursue.
Elliot Park Opinion editor Whenever I’m asked if I attended a certain dance, my usual response consists of “No, I didn’t want to... I don’t like to grind.” So you could say that I’m “for” administration’s new dance policy and that I don’t want to see excessive grinding at our prom. I don’t want to see administration regulate right and wrong for us, but because grinding has become an issue that affects other students, it may be the best call. But I can’t argue against the fact that grinding has been around for as long as we can remember and it began even before our time. We’ve grown so accustomed to it that a moral issue doesn’t even seem plausible. Still, the notion of dancing with your “hands on the ground” just doesn’t seem any less strange. And the question of why we grind always perplexes me. I have heard plenty of reasons in defense of grinding, but the ones that have stuck out the most are the “everyone else is doing it” mantra, and that it is just a part of youth culture. I can not bring myself to agree with the idea that grinding is entirely wrong from a moral standpoint, but I cannot accept the idea that there is nothing wrong. I don’t want to correct the ethical wrongs of pop culture, but it is intimidating. Honestly, actually dancing at a dance seems preposterous when everyone else is “rubbing” and “hip thrusting” away.
Grinding in itself isn’t why we need administrative action, but rather, the fact that it keeps other students from even attending dances and enjoying the dance experience exclusive to high school. The punishments listed in the parent e-mail were, I admit, slightly on the extreme side (with its “ﬁrst offense out the door” approach), but they send a clear message that the school will not tolerate prohibited dancing. Through this policy, the hope is that we can throw out the fear of social rejection that came along with the previous dance settings and kept a number of students from even attending dances. In this situation, while I do believe this decision beneﬁts the students’ best interest, not everyone can be satisﬁed with administration’s strict, zero tolerance policy. And it doesn’t seem right to condemn students for grinding if it seems normal to them, but in order to create a more accessible environment for all students, excessive grinding had to be weeded out. The idea of creating a comfortable environment that allows every person to take part in dances is admirable. The administration is doing what it needs to do for the good of the entire student populace. By opening up the dance ﬂoor, we provide everybody the opportunity, to not just attend a dance, but have an experience that’s exclusive to high school. Changing the dance setting liberates us from the normal expectations established by grinding. Guys like me have no reason to hesitate in regards to attending a high school dance. The new policy may not be the decisive end of the grinding issue, but for what it is, it speaks for a student voice that needs to be heard. Ω
“Grinding in itself isn’t why we need administrative action, but rather, the fact that it keeps other students from even attending dances and enjoying the dance experience exclusive to high school.
Making our own decisions Decisions are actions that constantly shape how we live. But too often, when we have a dilemma, we run to other people for advice when we should take our own thoughts into consideration first. Michael Hyun Feature editor From deciding what to wear to that double date on Friday night to asking a friend for an opinion on whether we should take AP Biology or AP Chemistry, we are constantly forced to make decisions on a daily basis. Whether we choose to follow the right or expected path, there are two forces at work that culminate in your ultimate decision: yourself and those around you. As individuals, we need to make our own decisions as no one knows our limits and strengths better than we do. At this time of year, sophomores everywhere, including myself, struggle to reach a decision over whether to take AP and IB. Students always ask upperclassmen and teachers for advice, which seems to me a waste of time that causes unnecessary stress. I can’t say I’m not worried, but in the end, this decision only affects me. The people who inﬂuenced me won’t be there to help during the AP Calculus BC practice test or the Biology IA; all I will be left with is myself. Even if I do ask upperclassmen what they think of IB or AP, they’ll most likely give me a one-sided story with no
guarantee that what they’re telling me is true. Most importantly, they may not know me on a personal level. If I allow my peers or teachers to decide my future academic career, there is no telling how this will affect me. From a broader perspective, making your own decisions brings good results one way or another. If we live life without taking chances, we’ll never know the answer to “What if I … ?” We need to live life conﬁdently so that we don’t cry over past mistakes. Although we should take our peers and family’s advice into consideration, ultimately, the choice is ours. On the other hand, we can’t deny that everyone conforms to the common crowd. We are constantly being advised by our friends and family. Often, we no longer take the initiative to take matters into our own hands. While this gives us excuses to depend on others, we need to learn how to walk on our own two feet. After all, when you grow up and ﬁnally decide who to marry, you’re not going to suddenly back out 10 minutes into the vows after being convinced by your best friend. Although there will be times when we must choose between two roads, ignore and leave the world behind and listen to yourself because those decisions are no one else’s but yours. Ω
EDITORIAL CARTOON BY JESSICA WANG
Justin Kang Staff writer N e a r l y every day my mother and I get into a shouting match over my hobbies. She’s never gotten Day’s (a Starcraft web television host and commentator) name correct whenever she brings him up (ex. Cloud 9, Hell 9, Night Time). Pokémon is just Pikachu, never mind the other 648 Pokémon out there. On top of that, I’ve never told her how many guildmates I’m still in contact with from my World of Warcraft days. She makes it subtly obvious that she’s not a fan of what I do in my free time. I will admit that these aren’t hobbies someone usually boasts about or that they in any way, shape, or form help me out with the ladies (hello there, ladies): they’re geeky. So yes, I can understand why she might not support me in my recreational endeavors, but it oftentimes seems as if she feels that I should feel a bit ashamed in the things that I take joy in. Day said in his hundredth episode: “There’s nothing more cool than being proud of the things you love.” I really take this idea to heart because I don’t think anyone should be put down for what they believe in or what they ﬁnd joy in. Justin Kang, someone who has socially ambiguous hobbies said, “It’s really, really, really hard to argue against happiness.” If it doesn’t negatively impact others, how can anyone really argue against happiness? I mean... it’s happiness. So much of the time, we’re told to ﬁnd what makes us happy. My Tumblr wall is ﬁlled with reblogs of vintage photos with words in Helvetica that say, “Be happy. Screw the rest.” in various levels of vulgarity. That happiness should be placed above things like money, big houses, and Facebook likes. We shouldn’t bend to social pressures in our search for happiness: happiness is a purely personal idea. (Hence, hipsters.) I’m not saying that any of my hobbies are better, cooler, or more awesome than anyone else’s hobbies, but I just want to get rid of this hoighty toightiness that often goes on when the topic of free time comes up. While I may not understand what speciﬁcally drove you to deem “sleeping” as your hobby, I will support you completely in your endeavor to be more rested. At least until you complain about being tired the next day. Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
An apathy in our democracy
As teenagers, we are often ignorant of current events. But we must be more conscious of the political issues that will affect us.
Being politically aware
Politically aware :: Walnut Hoofprint
Politically aware :: Walnut Hoofprint
whshoofprint.com/political-awareness/ March 9, 2012 – “Sooner or later, we’re all going to have to accept the fact that we cannot escape politics.” - Hong Chen, 11
whshoofprint.com/political-awareness/ - Cached
Why should we be politically aware? whshoofprint.com/politically-aware-module/ March 9, 2012 – Compiled by Samantha Gomes, Staff Writer
Audree Hsu, 9 “I think it would matter because one day we’re going to have to be in politics.”
Patrick Chow, 10 “I think involvement is important because politics impacts our future and because we should know the world we live in and how it runs.”
Alex Lin, 11 “I think people should be interested in politics. At our age, people should focus more on school and treat politics more as a hobby.”
Paige Montojo, 12 “I feel that it should be people’s top priority to try to see the world around them, not just focus on high school. Being aware globally makes me want to do something in the future that’ll help all these issues.”
Hong Chen Staff writer Whether we like it or not, politics affect every aspect of our lives, from the food we eat to the education we receive here at Walnut. Yet so many of us remain indifferent or even ignorant to the politicians and policies which deﬁne our very lives, choosing to have no part in determining or inﬂuencing those laws until they affect us in some really insigniﬁcant way. Fact: 10 million unique signatures were collected on petitions against SOPA and PIPA, as well as over 8 million calls to senators and representatives concerning the issue. The Internet was in an uproar about the SOPA/PIPA/ACTA legislation, so why can’t it be in an uproar on the political stagnation in Washington D.C. caused mainly by House Republicans refusing to compromise? Or on the inefﬁciency of the Obama administration so far because of this stalemate? Sure we can complain about some censorship, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the terrible economy that we will eventually enter and work in. A 9 percent unemployment rate and the $4 trillion increase in debt over the last four years shouldn’t simply be shrugged off and ignored. Fact: The 18-29 age group has the lowest voter turnout among all age groups in elections, unless you count non-citizens. The fact of the matter is that most teens don’t seem to care. More likely than not, we are too absorbed in our world of pop culture to even remotely care about the decisions made by those on Capitol Hill. People do not realize that the votes we put in and the people we elect will determine the lives we live in the future. Shouldn’t we have a voice in determining that? We are mired in the mindset of “It’s only one vote. What good will that even do?” and refuse to acknowledge that the change we seek starts at the individual level. In fact, we are too lazy to even be informed about the causes we care about, let alone be active participants in them. Fact: An estimated 24% of the 18-29 age group came out to vote for the 2010 House and Senate elections. You might say “Hey, I can’t even vote!”, but participation in politics is much more than just casting a ballot. It is about becoming informed on the issues of the day, as they will come back to affect us later in life. It is about supporting and campaigning for the candidates who we trust will do good. It is about reaching a state of mind that every bit of participation counts and might just help push us toward the change we need in this country, about being motivated and active in shaping the policies that will deﬁne our lives. We need to become a part of the change that has made America great, and continue that change into a daunting future, so America can stay that way. Fact: 51% of the 18-29 age group voted in the 2008 presidential election, up 2% from the 2004 election. Sooner or later, we’re all going to have to accept the fact that we cannot escape politics. The decisions made in Washington D.C. are the ones that will shape our years to come, and we will need to accept our responsibilities as citizens to inﬂuence those laws. Learning about these things is about growing up and maturing, about caring for the quality of our lives. Political activism starts here and now. Ω GRAPHIC BY JESSICA KWOK AND ALVIN WAN
VOLUME 45, ISSUE 4
Sibling cadets in the making
Siblings junior Jason Lee and sophomore Jane Lee spend their extra time doing service to their community. As second-rank cadets in the Olympic Division of the LAPD Cadet Program, they are trained and specialized to regulate and maintain the Los Angeles community. Tiffany Diep Business Manager After one and a half years of being a part of the Los Angeles Police Department Cadet Program, siblings, junior Jason Lee and sophomore Jane Lee have acquired new skills that will help them in a career as a police ofﬁcer. They achieved the title cadet after attending the academy for 18 months. “Being in Los Angeles, this program allowed me to interact with a new community of students some distance away from Walnut,” Jane said. “I learned that not everything is the same, even if it’s just a few miles away.” The idea of being a part of this program was ﬁrst suggested by their father. “I was reluctant to join at ﬁrst, but I felt it was worth trying and it really paid off in the end. Even though you don’t want to become a police ofﬁcer in the future, it is a great experience of interacting with others as well as learning useful lessons,” Jane said. The fact that they have their sibling with them in the program provides comfort and an ease of mind. “It feels nice to have someone there that you can talk to, as well as experience the same things and always share a laugh and good times together,” Jane said.
Jason and Jane have been getting physical training and taking classes that introduce them to the duties of police ofﬁcers at the Ahmanson Recruit Training Center. They learn skills essential to police ofﬁcers such as pursuing suspects inside buildings and blocking them off around corners. “You never know, in the future, if you’re in a situation where you need to chase someone. Even though you may not be using it now, in this moment, you may be using it in the future,” Jane said. “Not many organizations combine a training academy, community service, physical training, police tactics, and a uniform at no cost. It’s a unique program and it is a great way to help others, learn new things and meet new people.” As cadets part of the Olympic Division, one of 22 divisions, they are given opportunities to help lead the Boot Camp program and privileges such as riding with ofﬁcers in their patrol cars. They are also in charge of jobs related to the community such as patrolling the area, keeping their eyes open for troublemakers, and looking for lost children. “When I ﬁrst went on patrol, I was kind of nervous because anything could go wrong during a carnival such as a ﬁght, people with weapons, lost children, and other things. But
working as a group with the cadets and sending each other what was happening through the radio, it was a great experience and volunteering at big events is now one of my favorites,” Jane said. Along with learning police tactics, the cadets take part in community service events including making Thanksgiving baskets for charity, patrolling carnivals, and controlling parking at the Rose Bowl Parade. “I knew that this program would help me get a ﬁrsthand experience on PHOTOS COURTESY OF JANE LEE how it is like to be a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) ofﬁcer. I was also interested about the different environment that the world had to offer. I wanted to learn what it would be like for young teens and children to live in a place where danger was always lurking behind a corner,” Jason said. At the academy, they were taught training, police skills, valuable lessons, and how to adapt to their surroundings. “At ﬁrst it was strange and intimidating; however, I soon learned that the other recruits were very similar to me. I instantly made new friends who helped each and every one of us out such as pushing each other to the ﬁnish line of the mile, doing an extra PHOTO BY MICHAEL HYUN pull up or push up, or even sharing our RISING UP (LEFT TO RIGHT): Junior Jason Lee and sophomore lunches with each other if one of us Jane Lee review their radio codes, Code of Ethics, Four Firearm forgot,” Jason said. Ω Safety Rules, Use of Deadly Force Policy, and the Penal Codes.
Online gamers take on a whole new level
Many gamers view online/video gaming as an outlet for their stress, but to others gaming is a chance to show the world wide web what they can do with a simple keyboard. From local games to international competitions, competitive gaming is on the rise among students. Michael Aie Staff writer The popularity of real time strategy (RTS) online gaming has increased with many students convinced to play the likes of Defense of the Ancients (DotA), Heroes of Newerth (HON), League of Legends (LoL), and Starcraft II. Some students play for fun, some play for the game play, but a few play for the competition. “I game competitively because it’s fun, exciting and gives me adrenaline rushes. Each game i play offers me a challenge that is somewhat like chess. Every match has unique strategies and every move you or your opponent makes will create a different result,” senior Jay Lin said. Each player starts off as a beginner and builds their way up to become a strong and adept player. Whether it’s starting off due to free time, boredom, or curiosity, competitive gamers develop a drive PHOTOS BY MICHAEL AIE to do their best. GET ON MY LEVEL (COUNTERCLOCKWISE): Junior Kevin To “Initially when I heard about focuses on a match of League of Legends, attempting to destroy one of League of Legends (LoL) I did his opponent’s towers.// Senior Jay Lin builds up his monetary supply in not think much of it, but my friend a game of Starcraft II.// Junior Kyle Liao defeats an opponent, boosting convinced me to start. Once I began, his kill death ratio to the best of the match. it felt like a little adventure each
time I played and with so much to discover, I just wanted to get better,” freshman Bob Feng said. In these real time strategy games, online players are put into teams and set to battle each other in small matches. In both ranked matches and regular matches, the objective is to defeat the other team; however, ranked matches are more unpredictable and generally consist of more skilled players. “When people play regular matches in Call of Duty or League of Legends, they tend to ignore the objective of the game and play selﬁshly. Competitive gaming requires a different mindset. You have to work as a unit and as a team in order to win, which is the ultimate goal,” junior Kyle Liao said. One of the biggest challenges in many of these real time strategy games is learning to adapt and play with teammates that are provided by the server. Teams are never deﬁned until the beginning of the game so one’s teammates remain ambiguous until the match starts. “Playing ranked matches helps build your teamwork and your patience as well as test your skill level. In these matches you see how skilled you truly are based on how
you work with your teammates, and how you learn to work with others and their playing types. One of the hardest things in a match is to get all your teammates to cooperate,” Feng said. Although these competitors dedicate much of their time to these games, they also have to focus on school and handling their extracurriculars. “When I play competitively I would spend a lot of time playing, but now with more schoolwork, I choose to play less and instead, just play on the weekends,” junior Kevin To said. Many of these ranked matches take up anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes, which is longer than the average game, but according to the gamers, they’re addicting because no two matches are exactly the same. “Each game you play is different and has distinct variables. There’s so many different types of characters, items, and ways to play the possibilities are endless. Competitively gaming is basically like playing a sport. It’s fun and you don’t get tired from playing it,” sophomore Calvin Lee said. Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Is the Internet changing how we look at the world? In recent years, with the mass exodus from playgrounds to online social networking sites, the Internet’s trends and memes have taken huge new roles in influencing the rest of our generation’s culture. This shift in culture from real-life to media has already impacted us. What are you thinking? Jessica You, Staff writer
It’s 7 p.m.. Now it’s 8 p.m.. Next thing you know it’s 10 p.m. and you’re still online. You know you should start homework now, so you log off of Facebook and Twitter, and finally try to focus on the day’s math assignment. Without realizing it, the Internet has crept so far into your life that this is the norm.
Spencer Liem, 12
“I’m glad the Internet has made our lives a lot easier. But at the same time, I’m kind of sad to see how many people have become dependent on it. It’s disappointing to see so many kids these days glued to their chairs with their eyes fixated on a screen for pretty much an entire day.”
Jessica You, Staff writer Although the Internet may seem like a distraction for students, it also serves as a connection to innumerable places outside of walking or driving distance.
Vivek Shah, 10
“Rather than feeling like I am simply trapped in Walnut-world, I can actually feel connected to the rest of the world with the Internet. I do agree that the Internet has some bad problems, but those are all due to self-choice.”
Jessica You, Staff writer The Internet has grown to be a huge part of students’ lives not only for homework and research purposes, but also as a link to the social world.
The history behind SOPA/PIPA/ACTA Hong Chen Staff writer
Popular uses of the ‘net
The Internet offers so much that every kind of person is able to find his or her own niche on the worldwide web.
Using the Internet: the scholar Sophomore Ondrian Yeung views the Internet as
SOPA and PIPA are acts that Congress considered in order to police copyright infringers and rid the Internet of intellectual property theft. Sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, and many other file-sharing community sites would have been severely limited, while the entertainment industry would regain lost revenue from illegal sharing and downloading.
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HYUN
The acts, if passed, would allow the Department of Justice to shut down any site that hosts unauthorized content, including MP3s, pictures, videos, and various other media platforms. While the acts were drawn up to combat foreign sites (from China especially), domestic Internet companies complained that these laws could apply to them as well, also arguing that small start-up companies could not afford the teams of lawyers and amount of fines needed to pay off such infringement, crippling the vibrant economy on the Web which constitutes 21% of the international economy.
Using the Internet: the socializer
Jessica Dimaano, 9 “I use it mostly for social networking and checking my grades, but mostly for Facebook. I’m always multitasking on Facebook and it’s a fun way to talk to your friends and see what they’re up to.”
What is the ﬁrst site you visit when you go on the internet?
Jessica You, Staff writer Though the Internet changes the way students respond to things, many take the Internet for granted as they have grown up with it all their lives.
PHOTO BY TO-VAN HOANG
made even easier.
Jonathan Shieh, 11
“I don’t think the Internet is completely good or bad, saying that it has taken over our lives is overstretching the truth. People who grew up with the Internet have a different perspective of the Internet than people who came to learn it.”
Jessica You, Staff writer
With just a click of a mouse, students have access to more information than any other generation has had before.
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HYUN
Spencer Liem, 12
Using the Internet: the listener
INTERNET SURFER: Junior Joseph Fan sits at the computer, checking
“The Internet certainly makes life a lot easier. I remember when my old school teachers would make me go find books or encyclopedias in libraries for a research paper. Nowadays, there are so many resources online that you can find virtually anything.”
2.2% Tweet Feed
Jessica You, Staff writer
With good comes bad, and with advancement comes drawbacks. However, the Internet is constantly being developed, and with each passing day, countless additions are made and our generation grows more attached.
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HYUN
David Kim, English 3 AP teacher
28.9 % POLL OF 270 STUDENTS
“The way you receive information determines how you think about that information. If you receive information primarily through short video clips, tweets, and text messages, your own thinking will soon imitate these forms. However, if you receive information by the slower process of reading, discussion, and reflection, then you have a greater chance for higher level thinking – the kind of thinking that matters. Technology is only as good as the kind of thinking it produces.”
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HYUN
BEEP! FLASH!: Freshmen Jordan Tang, Rachelle Chaturabul, and the sites and applications they have synched to their mobiles.
By the Numbers: 2.27 billion
Internet users around the world
Percent increase of Internet use around the world from 2005 to 2011
Blogs in the world SOURCES: www.cbsnews.com, www.cbpp.org
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Beauty Tutorials with Connie Yang As part of the Style Haul makeup community, senior Connie Yang makes her own makeup tutorials ranging from “How To Get the __ Look” videos to reviews of her favorite brands. As Taiwan’s fourth most subscribed makeup guru, she continually gains more support. Samantha Gnomes Staff writer Every day after school, senior Connie Yang comes home and immediately begins editing her next Youtube makeup tutorial. As a beauty guru on Youtube, she spends a lot of time brainstorming new looks, testing out beauty products, and watching videos of other makeup artists to stay up-to-date with the cosmetic world. “A lot of the more famous makeup artists on Youtube such as Michelle Phan, fuzkitty, and bubzbeauty inspired me to make my own tutorials,” Yang said. “I also enjoy seeing pictures of Korean celebrities and making Youtube videos recreating the looks of stars such as SNSD and Kim Tae Hee.” As Taiwan’s fourth most subscribed makeup expert on Youtube, Yang views her participation in the makeup community as an opportunity to make friends who share similar interests. Although they live in places around the world such as Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, and Japan, they can all relate to the ups and downs of their everyday lives. “When one friend gets a lot of hate comments, we all chat through Skype and rant together. Sometimes, it feels better talking to them rather than speaking with personal friends because
friends at school don’t understand what I’m going through,” Yang said. “With other beauty gurus, it’s easier to relate because we know what the other person is going through.” Yang became partners with Style Haul, a famous community of makeup artists on Youtube, in December 2011. This gave her the chance to attend events and make extra money to purchase supplementary supplies for her videos as well as improve upon her work with the help of other makeup artists. “Style Haul helped me discover more beauty and fashion gurus that I would have never found. I’ve been watching Style Haul videos ever since they started. Now that I am on Style Haul, I am part of a bigger community on Youtube,” Yang said. Yang strives to become a dermatologist and believes a future in this ﬁeld will give her videos a more professional feel. She views her videos as preparation for the future and hopes to gain even more support from her fans and to inspire them. “If there’s a look I really like, I recreate it. If there is a product I really like, I review it. I make these videos because I want to, not because I have to,” Yang said, “I’m telling my fans that if they ever want to start making videos, they should make ones that they have an interest in.” Ω
PHOTO BY ASHLEY XU
His first step into the business world Starting off as a rookie in the business field, junior Raniel Valerio has started three businesses: a marketing business, a coffee business, and an event-planning business. Valerio, inspired by his cousin, hopes to start a fourth business related to photography. Amy Lee Staff writer
PHOTO COURTESY OF RANIEL VALERIO
PHOTOS BY ASHLEY XU
LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS (COUNTERCLOCKWISE): Junior Raniel Valerio buys a cup of coffee from the Healthy Coffee machine,
With a passion for entrepreneurship, junior Raniel Valerio knows that being his own boss has its perks. During his freshman year, Valerio began his own businesses from marketing to selling coffee to his current event planning company, Valerio Planning. This student has already set out on the road to a business career. Seeing his family’s enthusiasm for their own businesses inspired Valerio to venture out into the business world himself. “Most of my family members have been business owners, and I guess it just rubbed off on me. I look up to them since they are very successful in their businesses. You can tell that they love what they do because they go the extra mile to satisfy their customers,” Valerio said. “Whenever I have questions or concerns about working or expanding or learning more about the business ﬁeld, I can always turn to them and I know that they can answer my questions.” Planning on working his way
up, Valerio started with his own marketing company where he promoted different businesses by handing out his business cards, by word of mouth, and through advertisements on his own website. “At ﬁrst, I thought I was going to go into the business ﬁeld of buying and reselling. However, to start off, I decided to just help other businesses expand by doing my best to provide them with clients,” Valerio said. “I thought that since I’m helping them grow with more customers, it’s also helping me with my business. It’s like giving them something and they are giving the same thing in return.” He eventually moved on to selling a product called Healthy Coffee, a coffee variant, which his company was asked to market. The business grew, and Valerio started selling Healthy Coffee vending machines but later decided to move into the event planning business. Although he started off the idea with a few of his similarly businessminded friends, he ended up having to go on alone. “When my friends left I didn’t really think much of it. Business is business. Things don’t go your
way sometimes but you can’t take it personally,” Valerio said. Valerio has started to move away from Valerio Planning, instead assisting his cousin in his photography business for the past few months and becoming interested in the possibility of a new venture. “I enjoy photography because you get to take pictures of people, like in family portraits, while expanding your connections,” Valerio said. “My mindset is always to expand my connections because I know that I could use them some time in the future with any favors-- even asking them to help me ﬁnd work.” Like any other entrepreneur, Valerio has faced difﬁculties and periods of slow business, but he has learned to maintain a positive attitude and to keep moving forward. “It’s interesting how life can bring you a lot of ups and downs but its amazing how God will be with you every step of the way,” Valerio said. “When things are slow, you just need to keep your head up and keep going. My uncle always tells me it’s not about having any bad days, but it’s about what you do in those bad days that makes a difference.” Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Marvels takes the dance floor Marvels Dance Company brings dancers together from different cities, practicing new routines every Friday and Saturday. Marvels holds annual tryouts in January, and those who make the cut participate in competitions against other teams. Jefferey Huang Staff writer
Many Walnut students have found a way to express themselves through the local Marvels dance team. Originally Mavyn Marvels, Marvels Dance Company, founded in 2009, consists of a close-knit group of dancers ranging from 10 to 18 year-olds. “I get to meet new people with the same hobbies as me. It’s easier to socialize with people, and we develop closer bonds because we have so much in common,” sophomore Sabrina Verduzco said. “We all go out of each other’s way to help each other out. I’m glad I joined. I met new people I’ve grown close to and everyone’s so friendly, so there’s never awkward tension.” Through Marvels, Walnut students have been able to connect with not only dancers from other schools such as Diamond Bar, Ayala, and Nogales, but also dancers from within Walnut as well. “At ﬁrst, seeing other people from Marvels at school was kind of weird, but now it’s cool to ﬁnd others with the same interests as you,” sophomore Amberly Hsieh said. “There were some people I met
in Marvels that go to [Walnut High School], and I never even knew they danced before.” Marvels has allowed dancers to create stronger friendships between themselves. “Marvels helps form closer bonds between people, especially the students at Walnut,” Hsieh said. “We all see each other often. On weekdays, we see each other around school, then again at practice on weekends.” As Marvels becomes more popular and more people join, the welcoming atmosphere will not change. “New people coming in is always good because we get to grow as a company and train more and more people. I think they would ﬁt in well because everyone starts out quiet, but once we start growing closer they’ll ﬁt right in,” senior Allison Yea said. “We just [have to] build new chemistry.” Marvels Dance Company offers dancers a chance to work with directors like Michael Bailey, Jamin Love, and Trevor Barata in a variety of dancing styles during their weekly rehearsals. “We get to work with amazing directors that push us to do our best and improve as much as we can.
They helped me with working on levels since I’m one of the tall ones, they just gave me advice and told me to match other people on the team when it comes to levels,” senior Allison Yea said. “The directors also choreograph different styles so our range of dances get more versatile, style-wise.” Despite the beneﬁts of being a part of Marvels, dancers also have to make sacriﬁces. “It takes up a lot of time when I’m trying to do homework and study,” Hsieh said. “But it was good choice, I’m doing something I love, so in the long run, it was the right decision.” Marvels Dance Company, above all, are a group of close friends, passionate dancers, and inseparable teammates. “To me, Marvels is like another family so I enjoy being with them all the time, and the more chemistry you have with a team, the better you dance together,” junior Ashley Basilio said. “Even though I already have a pretty hectic schedule, I am still committed to being on Marvels PHOTOS BY ASHLEY XU because it’s a completely different SHAKE IT UP (COUNTERCLOCKWISE): Sophomore Sabrina Verduzco, experience than Dance Team or a senior Kathleen Reichenberger, junior Joseph Campos rehearse for their professional studio company.” Ω upcoming annual K-12 competition in San Diego on March 24, performing multiple songs such as Mental Giant by TECH N9NE.
WHS Stylites start a revolt
Afterschool Grammar Intervention Program
Belle Sun Staff writer
Vanessa Chou Staff writer
Spreading its influence through Facebook, WHS Stylites fundraise with jewelry sales and raise awareness about sexually exploited children.
WHS Stylites has united to help sexually exploited children by raising money for a girls’ recovery center called Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth (MISSSEY). WHS Stylites is a Facebook group run by Ambassadors sophomores Annie Fan, Adanna Duru, and Ashley-Starr Clark that sells jewelry and unisex clothing provided by the Head Stylites organization in Torrance, donating all funds to MISSSEY. Stylites plans to earn a minimum of $100 every month. “We sell [these things] because it’s stuff that people would buy and they know that the things they buy go to a good cause. We’ve made about $190 so far, and we hope to make more,” Fan said. Founded by West High School’s senior Candace Wu and advertised last October through the For All Mankind concert at Cal Poly Pomona, WHS Stylites has touched and motivated various students. “Not a lot of people know the severity of sex trafﬁcking and not many people realize how severe
PHOTO BY MICHAEL HYUN
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ASHLEY CLARK
A PASSION FOR FASHION: Sophomore Victoria Peyton models for the ring she recently bought from the WHS Stylites’ collection of jewelry. sex trafﬁcking is, and that’s why we wanted to bring [Stylites] to Walnut,” Fan said. “We wanted to raise awareness and let people know we have a chance to stop it.”
With everything they sell, Stylites instills a recognition in their customers of the reality of sex trafﬁcking as well as an opportunity to prevent it. “I bought from Stylites because they have fashionable things to buy, it’s affordable, and I know the proceeds are going to a good cause,” sophomore Erin Harris said. Stylites plans on starting a club next year, allowing other students to be involved as Ambassadors, which are staff members, and holding sales during lunch and after school. “A lot of people have been coming up to me and asking if they could be Ambassadors. It’s really encouraging,” Clark said. Good will and compassion fuel this organization to keep going as the Ambassadors see the way they affect students by informing them about sex trafﬁcking. “Not many people actually take the initiative to start a club and get serious with it, so it’s a heartwarming feeling to have two very down to earth, and kind, good friends of mine doing this with me out of the love in our hearts,” Fan said. Ω
Every Monday after school, Marta Dibell and Sonia Nunez hold 30-minute grammar lessons in P-8. In an effort to reach out to those students who struggle with grammar and sentence structure, English Language Development teacher Marta Dibell and Intervention Counselor Sonia Nuñez hold Monday grammar sessions in P-8. “A lot of students on campus need extra help in grammar; these extra 30 minutes of instruction help us convince students that ‘anyone can do it’,” Dibell, the founder, said. The instructors began the program last semester in an effort to assist those who require additional help in the fundamentals of grammar and look forward to higher CST scores. “Although the number of people that show up each week varies, we have some students that consistently show up for each session. They come voluntarily and seem to actually enjoy it,” Dibell said. In each 30-minute session, the instructor focuses on a single topic to let students learn the grammar rules at their own pace. Past topics include predicate nominatives and direct/ indirect objects, which are often re-
PHOTO BY ASHLEY XU
peated in order to refresh the rules. “I just came to this country from Indonesia last year, so I’ve had trouble with grammar, especially active and passive voice,” freshman Clara Liera said. “I came to the sessions every week in the ﬁrst semester and it’s helped me a lot.” Nuñez and Dibell look to incorporate the program into the school day to boost its inﬂuence over a wider range of students. “Holding the program during the actual school day would be much more beneﬁcial to the kids, since many of them are busy after school everyday with extracurriculars,” Dibell said. “Even so, if only one student asks for help in grammar at any time, we’ll always be there to help that someone.” Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Dance competition at Sonora IN PHOTOS
CLOCKWISE: The dance team performs their medium lyrical dance to “Wait Until You See My Smile” by Alicia Keyes. // Senior Audrey De Guzman and sophomores Crystal Wong and Carlene Chinn perform their large dance to Federation’s “I Wear My Stunna Shades At Night.” // Junior Arianna Choi, sophomores Jamie Lee and Carlene Chinn, and freshman Jessica Moreno perform their Italian-restaurant-themed kick dance. // Junior Denise Pai, freshman Destiny Pai, and senior Audrey De Guzman perform their
Dance to attend Nationals
PHOTOS COURTESY OF CRYSTAL WONG
Women’s ﬁnishes their strong festival season
The dance team prepares for nationals on a daily basis and won a series of titles at their two most recent competitions at Sonora and Woodbridge.
Women’s Ensemble placed among the top three competitors at each of their last few competitions.
Amy Lee Staff writer
Lynze Tom Staff writer
After two consecutive successful competitions, the dance team is preparing for the USA Nationals at the Anaheim Convention Center on Mar. 31. “I think this year will be different from last year because we have a lot more potential and energy in the dances,” junior Denise Pai said. “Also, we have many strong dancers who are conﬁdent and are putting in 150 percent everyday.” As their last competitions before nationals, Sonora (Feb. 25) and Woodbridge (Mar. 3) gave the team its last chances to get corrections from the judges, who provided helpful input on their performances. “We need to show our energy to the judges. If the dance is happy, we need to be overly happy,” senior Rebecca Andom said. “It’s good to smile because it makes the judges and
the audience want to watch us.” Everything the dancers have done leads to nationals, where they can earn titles as national champions. “Some days we become tired and start to slack off, but then we remember why we want to become national winners, and we push through the dances with a positive edge in the end,” junior Sienna Serrano said. After making it into the champion division for kick dance, stakes are high as dancers will be competing with higher level dances. After coming close to ﬁnals last year, the team is working even harder to earn the title. “The team practices are starting to get intense,” sophomore Jarita Lee said. “I think this year’s competition is more competitive than last year’s. The dances from other high schools have improved a lot.” Despite the pressure to bring Walnut another title this year, the team is prepared both physically and
mentally. “We are working hard in all our dances to show the judges at nationals what the Walnut dance team is all about,” Serrano said. “But whatever happens at nationals, we will leave knowing that we have done our best throughout the season and that each performance made our team closer and stronger as ever.” Ω
Competition Wins Sonora: Kick dance: 1st place Officers dance: 1st place Medium Lyrical dance: 1st place Intermediate dance: 3rd place Prop dance: 2nd place Large dance: 2nd place Woodbridge: Kick dance: 2nd place Officers dance: 2nd place Prop dance: 1st place
From February to the beginning of March, Women’s Ensemble has competed every Saturday. Their next and last competition is on Mar. 10 at San Pasquel High School. Although the girls were short on practice time because of a conﬂicting schedules with their choreographer, they took ﬁrst place on Feb. 11 at Brea Olinda and second place on Feb. 18 at Diamond Bar. “It was amazing. I wasn’t sure how we were going to perform,” senior Janella Lagasca said. “We got noticed and all our hard work paid off.” To ensure that their next performance is one step closer to perfection, Women’s Ensemble continues to review their routine and look for slip-ups. “The judges write down notes about our performance and we watch the video to see the mistakes we made, and what we could improve on so that next time we’ll do better,” senior Betty Lee sad. “They see us from a different point of view and can tell if something looks strange.” At Diamond Bar, Women’s Ensemble focused on their vocals, while the other competitors emphasized presentation. “I’m really happy because all the choirs were really advanced and over the top. We did well for us, even with a tighter budget,” junior Tanya Kanchana said. “We always aim for ﬁrst, but that doesn’t always happen.” Before each competition, the singers hope for better opponents. “I would have to expect that there’s going to be better competition. Some of the choirs were not giving their full effort,” Lagasca said. “I want them to perform their best so whoever wins actually deserves it.” Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Drama presents Wonderful Town The spring musical, although less well-known, tells a story of two sisters during the Great Depression and will be performed with a more true-to-life approach. Vanessa Chou Staff writer The Drama department will present the spring musical, Wonderful Town, on Mar. 16, 17, 23, and 24. Unlike the past musicals Seussical and Annie, which featured fantasy and childhood as prominent themes, the new musical showcases a more realistic story line with humor and light-heartedness prevalent throughout the show. “There are a bunch of talented kids involved in this show, and I can say that the audience will not be disappointed at all. We’re working very hard and diligently, and I think that the audience will enjoy all of the songs and music, as well as the very hilarious, but totally understandable scenes,” junior Gio Thomas said. Wonderful Town follows the adventures of two sisters, Ruth (played by senior Elizabeth Horn)
and Eileen Sherwood (played by senior Christianne Santiago), who leave their home in Ohio to seek out their luck in Great Depression-era New York. “I love my character. I can relate to her a lot, and I love the lightheartedness she brings to the stage. She never tries to bring out the bad in anyone, and that’s something I hope to take from portraying her,” Santiago said. “The most heartfelt moments may be the scenes with me and Elizabeth Horn, who plays my sister Ruth. In some scenes you really see us breaking down, and missing home. It shows our sincerity and the human ﬂaws we all possess.” The diverse show features four different types of dance, with intricate motions and positioning in each number. “The rehearsals are quite long this year; with all the choir kids, orchestra kids and whatnot, we have
“Without orchestra ,the musical would be pretty bland. First we practice by ourselves in the music room. Then on specific days we go down into the orchestra pit and play as the drama department says their lines. -Allen Lin, 10
had to extend times. We’ve also lost three weeks because of our school’s switch around during ﬁnals, so that’s extremely tough,” Thomas said. “This musical was completely random. No one had heard of it, but we’ve all learned to love it.” With a cast of over 50 members, the musical will include creative interaction between the drama members and the audience. The production students hope to connect to the audience on an inspirational level through the portrayal of the lifelike characters and the wide dreams that each character brings to the set. “Throughout the process, I have fallen in love with the show and the cast,” sophomore Charmae Astillero said. “If anything, I hope we as actors are able to captivate the audience and bring them into our world for a few hours, giving them some sort of joy or laughter to bring home with them and make them smile.” Ω
Susie Law and Belle Sun - Staff writers “Without stagecraft, there would be no one to direct the performers and no set. The production needs everything that we provide. Some Saturdays, I come to help paint the set.” - Finex Ngai, 11
Winter Guard starts season With a very intense theme and more experienced members this year, Winter Guard concentrates on a rigorous competition season in the coming months. Candee Yuan Media editor Winter Guard has started another competition season, this time featuring Van Helsing, a vampire theme, in their show. They have upcoming competitions on Mar. 9, 31, and Apr. 13. “The theme is different compared to what it usually is. It’s much more intense and ﬁerce. It has really sharp music, and sends a strong vibe to the audience as well as the performers themselves. Every move we make has to be done strong and sharp so it can match with the intensity of the music. This theme and music gave us a huge opportunity to bring up our routine difﬁculty,” sophomore Joey Li said. Bonds within the team have become a crucial aspect of this season, as it allows Winter Guard to perform well together. “If we win, we win together, and if we lose, we lose together. We have to learn to trust our teammates and understand each other,” junior
Nattanich Yookong said. “When the competition gets more intense, it pushes all of us to challenge ourselves and take us all to the next level.” As most of the girls are experienced members, Winter Guard is able to learn more difﬁcult routines. “It allows us to amp up our choreography and take it to much higher technical levels. We can incorporate much more difﬁcult weapon tosses that keep the show going at an intense level,” senior Nicole Ferrer said. “We’re always on our toes during Winter Guard season because it requires so much effort and commitment from all of us, and as most of us are older members, it emphasizes how committed we are to each other as a team.” Not only does the competition allow Winter Guard to improve as a team, but it also helps some members individually grow on a more personal level as well. “The competition gives me more conﬁdence in myself, performing
PHOTO BY ASHLEY XU
BEST FOOT FORWARD: Seniors Elizabeth Horn and Christianne Santiago do the Charleston in the musical number “Wrong Note Rag.”
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A
DRAMA MEMBER Spencer Wu - Staff writer
A typical schedule on a performance day: 11:05 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Fourth period Drama class (practice) 5:30-6:00 p.m.: Arrive, get into costumes 6:00-6:30 p.m.: Make up, vocal warm-ups 6:30- 6:50 p.m.: Backstage “actor zone” time 6:50-7:00 p.m.: Prayer 7:00-9:30 p.m.: Showtime 9:30-9:40 p.m.: Clean room, get out of costumes 9:40-10:00 p.m.: Greet audience members, leave
New All Men’s Choir to be established next year After more than a decade, the choir program will be able to expand once more at the start of next year. Stephany Yong Staff writer
PHOTO BY ASHLEY XU
TRUE COLORS: Sophomore Joey Li comes out of a turn and prepares to perform a lateral toss. in front of [a lot] of people. It opens my heart to a whole other feeling because when I perform, the feeling is incredible no matter if the performance was good or bad. It has made me understand that the feeling that it gives matters more than winning,” Li said. Ω
With the success of Walnut’s girls’ choir program, choir director Lisa Lopez looks to start a Men’s Ensemble for the 2012-2013 school year, making it the ﬁfth choir group on campus. “We want it to be something different from the ensembles we already have, and the guys have been wanting an opportunity to have an all-male group,” Lopez said. With the program’s recent success in which six members made the 2012 All-State Honor choir, male singers hope to expand, looking to use the former band room in addition to the choir room. “I think it gives a lot of guys the opportunity,” junior David Paig said. “Usually we’re supporting members of the girls as the bases and the tenors. This is a brand new thing when other men are actually supporting other men. I think it would be pretty awesome if we were a competing choir, but we’ll see how many guys try out.” Members of the Men’s Ensemble will be able to sing acapellas along with new types of music, such as barbershop and doo-wop. They will also have the opportunity to have more choreographed numbers. “To me, it’ll be cool to actually have a group of guys to sing tunes,” junior Danray Briones said. “It’s going to be really new since a bunch of guys are actually going to be there; new set of people and a new set of voices. It’s exciting to sing in a real men’s ensemble, an ofﬁcial one ﬁnally.” There will be two audition meetings on Thursday, Mar. 29 at lunch and at 3 p.m. Information forms can be picked up from the door of M-1. Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Every Wednesday, the San Gabriel Valley Food Truck Festival brings a variety of interesting truck cuisines straight to Walnut. Samantha Gomes Staff writer Komodo, a largely known team of food trucks and cafes, visits regular food-truck festivals around the Los Angeles area turning common street food such as french fries into unique entrees. It was the well designed truck that caught my attention and persuaded me to stop by Komodo. Some of their wellknown signature tacos include favorites such as the Blazin’ Shrimp taco and quirkier choices like Fish N’ Grapes. Although the Komodo food truck heavily advertises its diversity and
uniqueness, they border along the lines of just weird with their chicken tacos topped with fresh oranges. It felt as if they ran out of ideas, so they decided to put random food together and make it look nice. As soon as I stepped away from the Komodo truck after ordering my food. Despite the overall bland appearance of the meatballs with romesco sauce on top, the intense ﬂavor of the meatballs surprised me. Komodo’s deliciously spiced meatballs had the perfect texture. The ﬂavor also has a very zesty taste from the spices. I never expected meatballs to carry this kind of taste, but the sauce creates a strong combination. The pricing of each dish was
higher than anticipated, but it was still within reason. I expected to get a larger order of meatballs for ﬁve dollars and the plate I received was smaller than I had hoped, but the friendly service made up for it. I stood outside the truck for almost seven minutes to receive my order, but when it came the cashier was quick to apologize for the wait. For those who like to try new and unique ﬂavors, I would highly recommend stopping by the Komodo food truck to see more of what they have. Komodo serves dishes with combinations that are deﬁnitely unexpected. No two entrees taste the same, so be sure to invite a friend and compare the two ﬂavors. Ω
in ﬂour tortilla or soy paper. The menu easily differentiates between prices for either a mini or full roll. I ended up ordering a minisized Jogasaki #2A which included crab meat, spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, and tempura shrimp all wrapped up in soy paper. While I waited for my order, the owner told me that other trucks had skipped the day due to poor weather yet he’d shown up because he couldn’t bear to abandon customers. Though it had been a rainy night, he was still warm and friendly. The burrito turned out to be a roll of cream soy paper but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of ﬂavor I got out of my ﬁrst bite. I’m so used to mouthfuls of plain
tortilla that I was glad to get ﬂavor out of every bite. The cucumber and tempura provided a nice crunch and a texture contrast to the avocado and crab meat. I’m not usually for avocado, but the ﬂavor was light enough to taste the traditional sushi ingredients. I’d forgotten about the spicy tuna until I tasted it halfway through the roll. I got a pleasant kick out of the spicy taste, though it was more a spark than what I’d consider actual spicy ﬂavor. The owner was kind enough to call down and ask how I’d enjoyed my order. I’m deﬁnitely looking forward to seeing the truck again on my next visit to the Food Truck festival. Ω
PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSIONS BY WWW.KOMODOFOOD.COM
Christine Liu Staff writer I’ve always been one for culinary exploration, though my family’s general dislike of raw foods has always left me with a curious, yet unfulﬁlled desire for sushi. Cue the Jogasaki Sushi Burrito truck. The truck’s specialty confused me at ﬁrst when I thought I’d be getting a mix of beans and crab meat, but the sushi burritos are basically sushi ingredients rolled together and wrapped PHOTOS BY ASHLEY XU
Justin Kang Staff writer I’ve eaten a lot more Vietnamese sandwiches than I’m willing to admit, but before the Mandoline Grill, I’ve never had one off of a food truck. What a seasoned eater will notice is that they don’t use the traditional mix of sliced meat, instead opting for a selection of grilled meat options, which I gladly appreciated and understand from a mobile food truck. It’s a different taste compared
to the classic cold cut meat, but it gives a heartier feel and body to the sandwich, which I’m looking for when I go food trucking. Their vegetables weren’t outstanding, but that’s not saying they were bad. Lots of shops fall short in this area, often over pickling, but the Mandoline Grill reaches a happy medium between crunch and tang. What really stood out to me was their Asian style nachos. The chips were crunchy, the sauce mysterious, tangy, and sweet
and covered in greens that added, rather than detracted from the nachos experience. While there were some dry spots, the quality of the chips alone more than made up for this fact. Overall, if you’re in the mood for a sandwich, I would direct you happily toward the Mandoline Grill. There is nothing very avant-garde about the food, but it does everything just right. Ω PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSIONS BY WWW.QUARRYGIRL.COM
Alexa Wong Staff writer For me, food trucks have always been associated with only satisfactory and usually not fresh food. However, when I ﬁrst arrived at The Yummy One, I was shocked to see something entirely different. The food truck, known for its authentic Korean style gourmet, was both healthy and, for the most part, captivating. The menu consisted of curry rice bowls, burritos, rice PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSIONS BY WWW.MOBIMUNCH.COM
wraps and curry fries. I ordered the rice wrap, which was composed of shredded lettuce, red onions, cilantro and Korean BBQ beef. I also tried the curry fries, an order with cheese, curry, potatoes, carrots, onions and Korean BBQ beef poured over it. When I ﬁrst bit into the wrap, I encountered not only crisp, crunchy taste from the lettuce and the onions, but also a rich, savory taste from the beef. The wrap was full of ﬂavor, with both hot, cold and refreshing sensations. After ﬁnishing the wrap, I tried the curry fries. The curry was slightly
spicy and accompanied by semi-soft potatoes, carrots and tender beef. (Altogether the ﬂavor was extremely juicy.) However, the fries not soaked with curry were rather dry and starchy. The fries didn’t seem to be undercooked, but when eaten without a heap of curry sauce, were almost tasteless as well. The Yummy One was an interesting twist to typical Korean cuisine, which pleased me overall. I would recommend it to someone who has experienced Korean BBQ, but do not think it will appeal to those unaccustomed to the taste. Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
The best of both worlds
Boba ni Taco takes Chinese and Mexican to create a blend of both tastes.
What’s APP, Gamers? New smart phone applications create a frenzy, providing new ways to pass the time with others.
Draw Something Stephany Yong Staff writer
PHOTOS BY JACKSON DENG
FUSION FRENZY: Tacos with tortilla chips and guacamole dip appetizer were a large portion for the price. // The Boba Milk Tea was slightly expensive for the quality. Jackson Deng Staff writer Mexican and Chinese food don’t seem like a good combination, but Boba ni Taco manages to pull it off with genuine, homemade-style food and attentive service. Fusion cuisine isn’t anything new, but Boba ni Taco brings a local, hometown feel to the industry that others can’t match. When at a restaurant, the most important thing is always food, and there are a lot of multicultural food choices at Boba ni Taco. Between American, Mexican, and Chinese food, it’s hard not to ﬁnd a familiar dish or family favorite. As an appetizer, I ordered chips with guacamole and salsa, for $3.95, recommended by the friendly server. The amount that comes with the
meal is a lot for the price, with a huge scoop of guacamole and more than enough chips to accompany it. Surprisingly enough, the chips aren’t “chips” but are more like fried tortilla strips. The shells come out hot and the greasiness is off-putting, but the fresh-made guacamole and salsa more than make up for it. The salsa and guacamole taste gardenfresh and have very distinct ﬂavors, with the salsa being a nice blend of tangy tomato and spices. All in all, the appetizer was as appetizing as an appetizer should be, a nice lead-in to the main dishes to come. As the name implies, Boba ni Taco serves boba and tacos, both safe choices in a varied menu. The tacos, $6.95 for three, are crispy and hot when they come out, and pair perfectly with the salsa and
guacamole that accompany it. The boba, the other namesake of Boba ni Taco, was chewy and had a nice nibble to it, but the small portion I received didn’t seem worth the price of $1.99. Compared to other small tea shops the price difference is just enough to be noticeable, so if you don’t mind paying a little extra for more or less the same thing, the boba milk tea is a decent choice. With a unique combination of both Mexican and Chinese ﬂavors, Boba ni Taco blends the two different cultures in one fusion restaurant. The homemade style of the food is appealing, and you can even see the guacamole being prepared by the chef. Overall, though the my experience at Boba ni Taco had its up and downs, it was a great introduction to fusion cuisine. Ω
Little People, Big World, One Adventure “The Secret World of Arrietty” shows the clash between fairytale and reality. Angela Aie Sports editor If you are a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and his brilliant animated movies, then you will surely fall in love with his newest animation “The Secret World of Arrietty.” Though directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Miyazaki makes his presence felt through the unique attention to detail. Based on Mary Norton’s novel, “The Borrowers”, this ﬁlm features a family of tiny people who live by “borrowing” whatever they need from humans. Set in a home on the Japanese country side, Arrietty (voiced by Bridgit Mendler) and her family manage to remain undiscovered under the ﬂoor boards by taking only what they need in amounts so small that their borrowing goes unnoticed. When Shawn (voiced by David Henri), a sick boy with a heart condition, moves into the house to live with his aunt he stumbles upon the borrowers. For those of you who cannot sit through a slow, developing plot, this isn’t the right pick for you. From the beginning, Miyazaki’s style is present, creating a realistic experience. From
Doodling in class has taken on a new deﬁnition with the App Store’s new craze: Draw Something. Available on the iPhone and Android market, Draw Something is a guessing game with an artistic twist that has players face off against each other using a set of three words. With the chosen word, players use pencils and colors to draw it, having the other player guess the word. With its roots from Pictionary, Draw Something streamlines the concept down to drawing, guessing and sharing. It’s more or less ﬁnger painting (which can be difﬁcult on the small screen of a smart phone), but on behalf of the hundreds of thousands who have downloaded
the app: it’s addictive. The small letter tiles add a puzzle-like quality, while words such as “Bieber,” easily lend themselves to puns and inside jokes. With a solid premise, the game also has room for improvement. It cycles through the same words, as I’ve drawn and guessed “Lady Gaga” approximately four times in the past three days, while cheaters who write out the word instead of drawing it bring down the experience. Also, artistic tools are limited, as I’d like to see maybe a spray paint or stamp option instead of the pencil. After all, a bit of paint would liven up even the most crude Gaga sketch. Ω
Scramble with Friends Jacqueline Sotoodeh Staff writer Scramble with Friends is a game I never get tired of checking in on, unlike other time consuming games. The game’s objective is to create as many words with the letters given. You can play with a random opponent or a friend. Each letter is given a point value like in Scrabble, and each next round brings double and triple word score tiles. Prior to starting the game, a player can choose between three power ups: freeze, inspiration, or scramble. In every game one power up is free, but another can be bought using a coin. The coins regenerate every 20 minutes, and the cost is fair considering how quickly they regenerate. When choosing powerups I prefer inspiration, but freeze is a helpful option when I think
long about the words I submit. Though people can choose to have no powerups at all, it’s a waste. Double and triple score tiles are also a great way to keep the player involved because of the higher score in each round. There are a few frustrating parts of Scramble with Friends. Sometimes when creating a word, I slide onto the wrong letter causing me to lose time, but that is normal when playing on a touch screen. There are also lag problems sometimes when playing online. If you get the chance to play with an Android, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, make sure to look for Scramble with Friends, because this is a game you have to try. Ω
Tiny Tower To-Van Hoang Feature editor
PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSIONS BY DISNEY.COM
the adventure of borrowing a sugar cube the size of Arrietty’s head to using tape as suction cups to climbing the leg of a table, numerous scenes are dedicated to let the audience feel and experience exactly how small the borrowers are. The peaceful setting provided by the nature of the country side contrasts with the intense feeling of fear for the borrowers’ well being as they are constantly threatened by the much larger humans. Against all odds, Arrietty and Shawn form an unlikely and unbreakable friendship built on trust and mutual understanding. Their
enduring friendship is warming and reﬂects the true meaning of courage and curiosity. Do not be decieved by the ﬁlm. Although this is a great movie to take younger siblings to, it also makes you think about perspective and point of view. For people who want a break from the rapid car chases, cliche romances, and unrealistic Hollywood endings, this is the movie for you. Join Arrietty and Shawn on an adventure that proves size matters, just not in the way you expect. Ω
“Is that elevator music I hear coming from your pocket?” Whenever this question is posed, I’m only marginally ashamed to take my phone out and show off my Tiny Tower. For the most part, I’m too excited at the prospect of pulling another victim into the game’s addictive grasp to consider the social ramiﬁcations of having everyone know that I consider my bitizens (the pixilated residents of my Tower) to be my children. Tiny Tower is a game for the App and Android Markets, developed by Mobage. You earn coins to build more ﬂoors to earn more coins – that cycle explains it all. It’s always the most simplistic games that wind up being the most addicting, and the 1,000,000+ Tiny Tower users on the Android Market are proof
of the game’s p o p u l a r i t y. If you still wonder what the appeal is, think Restaurant City on Facebook, but in tower form. It’s been a month since I downloaded the game and I’ve now got 68 ﬂoors and a slew of friends who are as attached to the game as I am – I plead guilty of introducing a lot of them to the game though. But keep this in mind: there’s a reason we’re still playing. I’ll admit that the game won’t hold your attention for hours, but it’s a cute app to have when you’ve got a spare minute. And checking in a couple times a day is really all it takes to get your tower started, and once the coins start rolling in, you can’t help but feel a little proud of your Tiny Tower. Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Wrestler Michael Sill advances to state For the first time in nearly a decade, a Walnut wrestler, junior Michael Sill, makes it past round one of CIF and moves on to state. Eddie Cox Editor in chief What does your only State
University where he met wrestlers “It’s a testament to how hard Sill
Sill has a mental toughness PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION BY ELITE GRAPPLER
DOWN FOR THE COUNT: Junior Michael Sill defends his leg to avoid being taken down in a match against Los Osos’ Timmy Maldonado.
Sill wrestled with his hurt rib and won With a bandage on his nose and
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Track and ﬁeld starts the spring season Track and field looks to maintain title of league champions with a smaller team and will host its first annual Jim Polite Invitational. Hong Chen Staff writer After a very successful season last year, the track and ﬁeld team hopes to preserve its title as League Champions despite having a smaller roster and losing athletes from the class of 2011. “My hope is that we win league for all levels. My expectation is, regardless of the outcomes, that the athletes give their best,” coach Keith Thompson said. With a win for the boys and a close loss for the girls over Colony High School on Mar.1, the team is shaping up to be a real contender to defend its league title. “I was surprised [that we won] because they have a really strong cross country and distance team,” junior Daniel Lee said. The team is smaller this year, but Thompson hopes to create a more motivated group with various team building exercises. “This year, we put athletes in groups of 10 with one group
PHOTOS BY JUSTIN KANG
KICKING IT (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): Junior Steven Chen passes the baton to senior Austin Wu during the 4x100 relay. / Senior Nick Carreathers jumps a hurdle during the 110 hurdles. / Sophomore Alejandra Avila runs the last 200 of her 1600 race. / Leading the pack in the 1600, junior Jason Steadward begins his kick entering the last turn.
leader to raise money and make new friendships. We’re trying to have more team building, and want athletes to get to know people not in their events,” Thompson said. He also planned Walnut’s ﬁrst ever track invitational, the Jim Polite Invitational, which takes place on March 17. “I feel like it’s the next progression to start an invitational as a coach. Our coaches and athletes can put on a quality meet and we want to honor Coach Polite for his accomplishments, since in the world of Track and Field he is a celebrity here in Southern California,” Thompson said. The team is focusing heavily on developing leadership, aiming to train captains to take charge. “Before, captains did lead, but they didn’t have the depth of knowledge that captains this year do,” senior Phillip Wang said. “Coach Thompson has given us a great opportunity to learn how to be leaders both on the team and outside of the team.” Ω
Varsity swim competes at League Pentathlon Swim starts the season by competing at the League Pentathlon, giving swimmers an opportunity to gauge their level of competition. Alvin Wan Online editor The League Pentathlon, an individual medley-oriented meet based at Los Altos early March, ended with the boys’ varsity swim team placing second. A designated group of 40 swimmers was selected to compete in the preliminary meet, which was strictly designed for allstroke opportunities. Five schools participated in the non-scoring meet: Rowland, Diamond Bar, Bonita, Los Altos, and Walnut. “I was pretty excited. That was
the day to prove myself,” junior, varsity captain Parker Sin said. “The meet tells me where I am right now.” Instead of the standard variety, all participants swam 50’s of each stroke before competing in the ﬁnal 100 individual medley. “I think I could have done better,” junior Gene Yong said. “I need to work on all of my strokes.” The Pentathlon, for the swim team’s ﬁrst race since last year, gauged the swimmers’ abilities. However, with only one week of practice under their belts and rapidly approaching invitational meets, the team needed to set priorities in order
to perform successfully. “We’ve improved from last year and we’re conﬁdent in our training,” sophomore swimmer Max Hsu said. “We’ve practiced harder, worked to overcome some weaknesses and trained harder.” Swimmers will focus on the several meets that remain before the league duels in late March. “As a swimmer you have make sure that you take every league meet seriously and that you have the spirit and the dedication to win,” Sin said. “If we have the dedication necessary up to that meet, we stand a good chance of winning.” Ω
PHOTO BY ASHLEY XU
ON THE FLY: HS, senior Nick Simo takes a breath and sprints to the wall for the win.
Softball girls win their ﬁrst game of the season The girls’ varsity softball team starts off the season with a victory against Glen A. Wilson High School and looks forward to league. Susie Law Staff writer
BATTER UP: With the ball safely in her mitt, junior Teodora Parker Stacey Sing winds her arm back for a pass to her teammate during practice. PHOTOS BY ASHLEY XU
Months of rigorous preparation ﬁnally paid off as the girls varsity softball team opened its season with an 8-6 win over Glen. A Wilson High School on Mar. 5. “We have been out practicing on the ﬁeld since August and working on fundamentals of the game, progressing each and every day,” junior Breanna Rose Holguin said. “We have also been conditioning and weight lifting during the week in order to build muscle and endurance for our seven inning games.” Dedicating more time towards the increased amount of practices, the varsity team hopes that it can strengthen its technical skills and
communication in time to qualify for CIF. “It’s my last season. I’m looking forward to playing hard and having fun. I think we have a good chance of making CIF if we do all the little things like executing situations, getting on base, helping the pitcher out, and playing defense,” senior Elaine Brown said. “I think if we work on gelling as a team more and help each other out by doing certain things better like bunting, we will get it down.” The newcomers on varsity ﬁnd that their teammates are like a second family, both supportive and encouraging . “The team is doing amazing. My teammates are like my sisters. They welcomed me with open arms,
and I’m proud to say I am close with every single one of them,” freshman Ashley Huber said. “It’s a blessing to play on varsity. They don’t pick on freshmen and they look out for us.” Emboldened by their ﬁrst victory, the players maintained an upbeat attitude toward the prospect of winning their future games, and will enter the season with conﬁdence in their teamwork. “Monday’s game went absolutely fantastic. It was deﬁnitely a conﬁdence booster for us. We played hard all seven innings and it looks like it will be a very good season for varsity softball,” Holguin said. “After this game there is no doubt in my mind that we can make it to CIF. We are a very competitive team that is willing to go at all extents to win.” Ω
VOLUME 44, ISSUE 4
Boys’ tennis works to strengthen its team
With a lack of juniors and the loss of nine seniors, the boys’ varsity tennis team looks to improve by focusing on the doubles teams. Jackie Sotoodeh Staff writer This year’s boys’ tennis season started with a clear and concise goal: focusing on doubles teams. In order to play well against their opponents, players know that doubles will play an important role in who wins the matches. “This year we have a lot of solid players and we are working very hard during practices,” senior captain Chris Yu said. “Our biggest opponent is going to be Diamond Bar, and even though we beat them last year, they are still our toughest competitors. We’re working hard to ﬁnd strong doubles teams because that’s what we’re better at. For singles we are just playing challenge matches and working hard to rack up wins as
PHOTOS BY JUSTIN KANG
KING OF SWING (CLOCKWISE FROM TOP): Sophomore Arthur Tang jumps up to serve the ball. / Senior Kelvin Mak prepares for a backhand to the opponent. / Senior Derek Cheung swings his arm forward for a forehand.
well.” In order to gain more skill in and strengthen their doubles, the boys need to change their practice strategies. “During practice we do a lot of doubles drills that work on our volleys and overheads,” senior Aaron Chiang said. “I think our main focus would be to keep improving since we lost our best players last year, and this will keep us motivated during games.” The boys are working hard to compensate for the loss of nine seniors. In order to continue playing at a competitive level, even in singles, the right players must be chosen for speciﬁc matches. “We’re practicing harder than last year. We play a lot more than we used to and we play a lot of
practice matches against each other,” sophomore Steven Sun said. “We also do a lot of conditioning to get stronger physically.” Two freshmen, ﬁve sophomores, and eight seniors make up this year’s varsity team. Each and every one of the players is working to his fullest extent to play well, continue improving, remain competitive for the rest of season. “It feels great being one of the only freshmen on the team. No one treats me differently from the other varsity members and everyone is friendly and accepts me,” freshman Bob Feng said. “I feel that perhaps this season will be a little weaker than other seasons; however, I’m sure that we will still play our hardest and have tons of fun regardless of the score.” Ω
Boys’ varsity baseball prepares for the spring season The boys’ varsity baseball prepares for the spring season with more drills and conditioning as a team and more individual training as players. Ashley Xu Photo editor It’s that time of the year when umpires start calling the shots and pitchers start practicing their fastballs and curveballs. This year, boys’ varsity baseball look forward to a good season. “I think we’re going to do really well. We’ve got a lot of talent that’s been building over the past couple of months so we should have a lot of people who are ready to be able to get in game time,” junior Joseph Saito said. “We’ve been working a lot more on game situations in practice
,so I think we’re deﬁnitely going to be way more prepared and a lot more skilled than maybe we have been in the past.” Anticipating the adrenaline of a new season, the players have been doing a lot more conditioning, ﬁeld drills, and running to ensure they stay in shape for an improved athletic performance. “As a team, we’re doing more conditioning to be quicker on bases and to also make more base hits,” senior Brandon Guitterrez said. “My expectations are to have a good season and bat well, and for my team to do well in league and make CIF
overall. I’m hoping that we do better in every aspect.” Being able to contribute individually towards a win instead of just winning in general is a huge goal for the members of the team. Many players spend their spare time improving their individual game by practicing in a batting cage. “I like to take a lot of my free time to go out and work on my game and make myself a better player, so that way, when it comes time for the team to come back together, I’m better able to contribute to a win than just being able to say that we won,” Saito said. Ω
PHOTO BY BELLE SUN
FAST BALL (LEFT TO RIGHT): Junior Kollby Oriti swings his arm back, ready to release a pitch. Senior Caleb Romo gets ready to hit the opponent’s on-coming pitch. PHOTO BY MICHAEL AIE
Amber Marani receives a scholarship from UC Riverside Senior girls’ varsity soccer captain Amber Marani was offered a full scholarship by the University of California Riverside to play soccer. Belle Sun Staff writer Senior Amber Marani is one step closer to making her dreams of playing with the US Olympic team come true by receiving a full scholarship to play soccer at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). “Receiving a scholarship has always been one of my main goals in life ever since I could remember learning about what scholarships
meant and how you could earn them,” Marani said. Marani’s talent as well as many other components inside and outside of school contributed to her acceptance with a full ride to UCR. “My ability to play the game so well and my work ethic helped me earn this scholarship. My grades and extracurriculars also helped. My family and coaches deﬁnitely were my main support systems and biggest motivators in helping me receive this
scholarship,” Marani said. The exclusive scholarship is a major achievement for Marani. “I was really excited when I found out I was receiving a scholarship because they only allot so much funding for athletes,” Marani said. “I have been playing soccer pretty much my whole life and to have ﬁnally receive what I have been working hard for, I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. I told myself that I ﬁnally did it, and I
couldn’t be happier.” Marani’s family plays a big part in helping to make everything possible. “My family has supported me through thick and thin. They have been at every game and every practice. They supported me ﬁnancially with extra training and allow me to play at the highest level of soccer,” Marani said. Along with the guidance she receives from her coaches, Marani
has a support system that has helped her get to where she is today. “My coaches allowed my teams to play at the high-caliber tournaments where I was able to get scouted. My family and coaches are my biggest believers. They knew I had what it took to be a good soccer player and told me to never give up. They always told me there was room for improvement and that was my inspiration,” Marani said. Ω
VARSITY SPRING SPORTS CALENDAR SWIM
3/13 - @ Damien/St. Lucy’s 3/14 - @ Ayala 3/21 - vs. Diamond Bar 3/28 - vs. Rowland 4/11 - @ Bonita 4/17 - @ West Covina 4/25 - vs. Los Altos 5/1-5/2 - League Prelims @ Bonita 5/4 - League Finals @ Bonita
TRACK & FIELD
3/15- @ West Covina 3/17- Jim Polite Walnut Invitational 3/22- @ Rowland 3/24- Chino Relays @ Chino 3/29- vs. Diamond Bar 3/31- Walnut Intersquad Meet 4/6-4/7- Arcadia Invitational 4/12- vs. Bonita 4/19- @ Diamond Ranch 4/20-4/21- Mt. Sac Relays 5/1- League Prelims @ West Covina
3/20 - vs. Los Altos 3/22 - @ West Covina 3/27 - @ Rowland 3/29 - vs. Diamond Bar 4/10 - vs. Bonita 4/12 - @ Diamond Ranch 4/19 - @ Los Altos 4/24 - vs. West Covina 4/26 - vs. Rowland 5/1 - @ Diamond Bar 5/3 - @ Bonita 5/8 - vs. Diamond Ranch
3/20 - vs. Los Altos 3/22 - @ West Covina 3/27 - @ Rowland 3/29 - vs. Diamond Bar 4/10 - vs. Bonita 4/12 - @ Diamond Ranch 4/19 - @ Los Altos 4/24 - vs. West Covina 4/26 - vs. Rowland 5/1 - @ Diamond Bar 5/3 - @ Bonita 5/8 - vs. Diamond Ranch
3/12 - @ Ayala 3/13 - vs. Los Altos 3/15 - @ West Covina 3/20 - @ Rowland 3/22 - vs. Diamond Bar 3/27 - vs. Bonita 3/29 - @ Diamond Ranch 4/12 - @ Los Altos 4/17 - vs. West Covina 4/19 - vs. Rowland 4/24 - @ Diamond Bar 4/26 - @ Bonita
BOYS’ GOLF 3/13 - @ Los Altos 3/14 - vs. Sunny Hills 3/15 - vs. Los Altos vs. Bonita vs. Rowland 3/21 - @ Orange Lutheran 3/22 - @ West Covina 3/27 - @ Bonita 3/28 - @ Don Lugo 4/10 - @ Sunny Hills 4/16 - vs. La Serna 4/17 - vs. Diamond Bar